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3 Generations of Navy Veterans Share Stories of Hope

OCTOBER 12, 2017 | 4-minute read

We’re observing the 242nd birthday of the U.S. Navy this week by sharing stories from three generations of U.S. Navy Veterans. Watch video interviews of them discussing life during and after their service and how they overcame mental health challenges.

Nick, a World War II U.S. Navy Veteran

WWII Veteran Nick Reflects on Loss

Nick never wanted to talk about his service, but he began to after his wife of 50 years died. He was in a lot of emotional pain and couldn’t sleep. When Nick finally went to VA for help, his counselor helped him see how his grief was related to his losses during military service. The more Nick talked about his experiences serving during World War II, the better he felt.

“You grow up pretty fast when you’re 17 and you go in there — really fast,” he says. “You either grow up or go down. It seems like a different lifetime, ’44 to ’46.”

Carla Sought Counseling Support

While serving in the Navy, Carla was sexually assaulted by one of her superiors. She blamed herself for what happened. After she left the service, she experienced relationship problems and felt hopeless. When Carla eventually reached out for VA support, she was connected to treatment and learned effective ways for overcoming her challenges. 

“I wish I would’ve [gone] sooner, after I’d been discharged, instead of waiting for so long,” Carla says, “because now I’m in a much better place than I was before.”

OEF/OIF Veteran Tristan Managed His Anxiety

Tristan, a Navy Veteran, was shaken by the death of his cousin and started drinking heavily. Being around both large and small groups of people made him feel anxious and uncomfortable. When Tristan realized alcohol was not helping him cope, he reached out for support. Treatment and being part of a combat Veterans’ group helped him turn his life around.

“There are plenty of reasons not to walk in and take the right step, but there are more reasons to step in … and you find yourself better for it,” Tristan says.


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